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U.S. hay production declined 9 percent in 2022

published: February 3rd 2023
by: James Mitchell, livestock marketing spec
source: Southern Livestock Standard

In mid January, USDA-NASS published the 2022 Crop Production Summary. The report includes information about U.S. hay production, acreage, and yield. The report also includes data for Dec. 1 hay stocks. The report splits the data into two categories, alfalfa and other hay.

      The hay marketing year starts in May and ends the following April. For example, the 2022-2023 hay marketing year began in May 2022 and will end in April 2023. May 1 hay stocks were tight, totaling 16.77 million tons or 7% lower year over year. May 1 stocks, combined with lower 2022 hay production, put hay supplies at the lowest level on record since the data began in 1974. The previous record low in hay supplies was in 2021.

      Other hay production totaled 64.84 million tons in 2022, down 9% from the prior year and the largest annual decline since 2011. Most Southern Plains and Southeast states had double-digit hay production declines. Other hay production in Texas, the largest hay-producing state, totaled 6.15 million tons, a 40% decline compared to 2021. Production declined by 16%, 13%, and 10% in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, respectively. Kentucky hay production declined 20% year over year. In Florida, hay production increased by 7%.

      Other hay acreage declined 2% in 2022 to 34.63 million acres. In the Southeast, hay acreage ranged from a 10% increase in West Virginia to a 5% decline in Arkansas. Mississippi and Kentucky’s hay acreage both declined by 5%. Texas acreage declined by 25%. Declining cattle inventories, expensive inputs, and high crop prices all likely contributed to the decline in 2022 hay acreage.

      Expensive fertilizer and poor precipitation impacted yields. U.S. hay yields averaged 1.87 tons per acre or 6% lower year over year. Yields dropped 9% in Arkansas (2.00 tons per acre) and Mississippi (2.00 tons per acre). Kentucky hay yields averaged 2.20 tons per acre, a 15% decline compared to the previous year. Oklahoma and Texas yields averaged 1.25 tons per acre and 1.50 tons per acre, respectively.


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